I'm taking the opportunity to answer several posters' questions here, about a.r.s. and its role in my membership in and exit from Scientology.
I'm taking the opportunity to answer several posters' questions here, about
a.r.s. and its role in my membership in and exit from Scientology.
When I first read a.r.s., I found it easy to be convinced of Scientology's
claim that the opposition to Scientology was based on bigotry for several
reasons--I had long doubted the media, and I saw a great deal of the posts here
as apologia for the St. Petersburg Times, 60 Minutes, and the like. Of course,
when I first watched 60 Minutes, I was outraged by the actions of Scientology
in its takeover of CAN and greatly disturbed by the Fair Game policy...but it
was quite easy to believe Scientology's accusations of media bias. I was also
disturbed by the seeming misogyny of some posters (and I still am). And as much
as I hate to admit it, the Carto DA on Arnie Lerma affected me, being as I've
been an anti-fascist activist for several years. The other DA's and accusations
("psychs", "hidden crimes", child abuse/neglect/support issues, "Minton money",
German agents, etc) I found to be quite ineffective and unimpressive. Overall,
the simple allegations of media bias, angry apostates and "fear of the new"
were the most effective in my turn to Scientology's side even after having read
quite a bit of a.r.s. and "A Piece of Blue Sky" before joining.
Once I joined Scientology, I stopped reading a.r.s. and became very involved in
Scn life. Within a month of joining, I signed an SO contract. Despite my strong
involvement in Scientology, when, this month, my ETA was arriving quickly, I
got a strong appreciation of simple pleasures in life and decided that I didn't
want to go to the SO. Knowing, however, how hard Scientologists, and especially
SO members, are to deal with when they want you to do something you don't want
to do, I looked for help. I remembered all the ex-Scientologists on the
Internet, and after getting myself a new AOL screen name (firstname.lastname@example.org) and
a new IRC nick, went to #scientology and asked for advice from a former
Scientologist--and I got it! Looking back, I realize I *must* have been
leaving Scn's control--after all, at my most dedicated, I would have never done
that--searched out SPs for advice.
At this time (after chatting with Arnie Lerma for hours and realizing he wasn't
evil, although he may have thought I was OSA), I went back to a.r.s. and
realized that every accusation against Scientology was quite possible in the
Scientology I knew--the side of the CoS willing to do *anything* to get what it
wants. I realized that the a.r.s. description *was* Scientology, and through a
network of critics and former Scientologists, I was able to get advice and
support getting out--and I'm very grateful for everyone's support and
assistance. By the way, it was great to meet all these people at the AFF
conference this weekend, which happened to be located in Philly--the home of my
old org and right across the Delaware from my home!
Once again, it's great to be out!